If your kitchen specialty is baking, you’re well aware that your pantry needs to be full of specialty items, quite different than a basic pantry or cook’s pantry. If you’re just getting into baking, these are some of the basic products and tools you should have in your baker’s pantry.
*Flour – all-purpose white flour is the base for many recipes; if you are a more specialized baker, or have special dietary needs, there’s cake flour, bread flour, and whole wheat flour.
*Sugar – granulated white sugar, brown sugar (light and dark), and powder (confectioner’s or 10x) sugar are the basics for baking.
*Table salt – this is an optional product for many, based on personal preference or dietary restrictions.
*Fats – vegetable oil and/or shortening are used in many cookie and cake recipes, and oil is also needed when you are using mixes (for example, Pillsbury and Duncan Hines).
*Refrigerated items – eggs, milk, sour cream, cream cheese, and butter or margarine (containing at least 60% vegetable oil) are essential for many recipes, and as add-ins for mixes.
*Baking mixes (such as Bisquick) – and easy-to-use base product for many recipes and for simple rolls and biscuits.
*Flavoring, spices, and extracts – vanilla (pure or imitation), almond extract, cocoa powder, food coloring, and ground cinnamon are the major products in this category for baking.
*Leavening agents – used to lighten the texture and increase the volume in baked goods, the most commonly used are baking powder, baking soda, and yeast.
*Baking chips and chocolate – not only semi-sweet chocolate chips (think Nestle Toll House), but becoming more popular in baking are specialty chips and candy pieces such as peanut butter chips, toffee chips, miniature pieces of mint candies, or mini peanut butter cups. Also, semi-sweet baking chocolate chunks and white baking chocolate chunks (sometimes referred to as almond bark) for baking and candy making.
Tools and equipments:
*Baking sheets (“cookie sheets”) – available in a variety of sizes, be sure the largest one you purchase fits in your oven; a 15″ x 10″ baking area is most common, but larger and smaller ones are available.
*9″ x 13″ and 8″ x 8″/9″ x 9″ baking pans – the common size for cake or brownie recipes, or for mixes.
*9″ pie plate – in metal or glass (many prefer glass); also good for dips and desserts other than pies.
*Specialized pans – bread pans, bundt cake pans, pizza pans, and silicone bakeware as you advance in baking.
*A good hand-mixer – look for one with a multi-speed motor (5-speeds or more) and a number of attachments.
*An assortment of bowls – for mixing, raising dough, and storage; can be metal, glass, or plastic, depending on personal preference and budget.